‘Up like a bird and over the city’

As many prepared for Antrim’s promotion match someone demonstrated a disconnect and lifestyle difference with most of the GAA, people of West Belfast and far beyond. Yes, the local MP/MLA and leader of SF waved his helicopter into Casement Park with an Antrim flag while his stunned constituents travelled past in Black Taxis.

(Scan via ‘Katey’)

  • old school

    Perhaps after forty years of pointless, pitiless fighting, a wise man someone who, for instance, can do the simplest arithmetic, decided it was time to find another way to win.

    Whatever I dislike about Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness I admire and respect the courage it took to take that step.

    A brave man is not the one hiding behind the children. A brave man is the one who steps up to save them.

    You should know that and so should everyone.

  • Michaelhenry

    so gerry adams likes taking an air taxi the odd time,its just another flight for one of the wild geese.

  • sdelaneys

    And it now turns out, according to the Irish News, that the meeting Adams had to attend on Friday was in fact lunch with a few business people in Dublin. Dublin, the train wouldn’t do our Gerry.

  • sdelaneys

    And it now turns out, according to the Irish News, that the meeting Adams had to attend on Friday was in fact lunch with a few business people in Dublin. Dublin, the train wouldn’t do our Gerry.

  • turnpike

    Sinn Fein misuse a GAA ground again with impunity.

    Congratulations to the GAA for it’s continued efforts to outreach to the unionist community.

  • Catherine


    Lives have got better everywhere in the world. There are less people living on a “dollar a day” than there were 30 years ago, all around the world. There are less people living in tenements in major cities of the United States. And yes there are less over crowded houses all over Ireland. We have washing machines, and tellys, but that has happened the world over. Gerry Adams and the IRA can not be responsible for it all.Rather than things getting ‘better’ we have made progress as much of the world has through technology etc., but poverty levels in inequality have never been worse. That is what an organisation like the IRA and in later years SF claied they were addressing. So how successful has that been?

    It can be argued quite convincingly that actually the ‘troubles’ did nothing to improve the lot of nationalists in vast swaths of the economy in NI. The civil service is still infamous for the imbalances in religious rep. particularly in the upper ecehelons. West of the Bann has been underserved politically and most importantly economically.

    If I had time I would go into this with you a bit more, but I don’t today.

    But putting all the above aside, we have homes filled with broken hearts that the past 30 years caused, and we have men and women today, who are being scorned and despised by the loikes of Gerry Adams, as he flies over our heads in his 2000 quid heli excursions.


  • Seosamh913


    It only takes courage if you choose to view political developments as a matter of the provos’s choice than can I think be said to be the case. Don’t you think that deep, perhaps to the point of crippling, penetration played a role (militarily and politically)? Increasingly ‘successful’ loyalist operations ? The realisation that SF had maxed out electoral advance and that their ‘moment’ vis-a-vis the SDLP could only come about as a result of a shift in their own position on violence ? I also think that we underplay the role of the US, Dublin and UK governments in this and the extent to which once the outside parties became engaged, particularly the US, the Ra’s headroom to do other than they did was in reality very limited.

    Unless or until we know what the various players ‘had’ on Adams and McG particularly, we won’t know for sure how much of what they did was a result of astute judgment and entirely of their own volition.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Does casement park qualify as Gerry’s back garden? Maybe he should have a chat with Robbo, could be worth a few bob…. maybe as the first Marxist Airport?

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Che Guevara Lynch Airport.

  • Henry94


    Unless or until we know what the various players ‘had’ on Adams and McG particularly, we won’t know for sure how much of what they did was a result of astute judgment and entirely of their own volition.

    So assuming they “had” something on the two boys how did they manipulate the vast majority of Sinn Fein members and supporters plus the overwhelming majority of nationalists on the island into supporting the Agreement?

    Are people that easy to convince? Or is this what people wanted and still want?

  • Seosamh913


    I don’t think the two are necessarily mutually exlusive, I would be surprised if there was not some string-pulling that perhaps only a very small number of people were aware of. I also think that there is an element of deference within the movement that is often under-stated. Popular support and true democratic principles are not necessarily always the same thing, particularly when a secret military elite are in the picture. The fact that people were amenable to unarmed alternatives does not necessarily mean that the leadership weren’t strong-arnmed to accept that as their only option. Choreographing the two to get them to flow together is no mean feat but not impossible either.

  • Rory Carr

    What’s wrong with having a ride in a helicopter?

    Lenin insisted upon a Rolls-Royce (“Nothing but the best for the revolutionaries!”) and, in his latter days, Pancho Villa, that horseman par excellence of whom John Reed wrote, “When mounted it was hard to know where the man ended and the horse began”, was driven about in his latter days in a Dodge Roadster.

    Unfortunately Villa was assassinated by agents of Obregon while being so transported. But maybe I shouldn’t mention that for fear that the likes of Old School and Mark and Rusty Nail start to get ideas.

    As if…

  • Seosamh913

    There is much in what you say, but I still think it takes courage to take on your own ‘establishment’ whatever that establishment might be.

    Some people say GA and McMG were ‘turned’ but there is no proof of that, and if you agree with and believe in the peace, as I do, there is no reason why they should have been turned to achieve this. History is littered with double, triple, who knows how many variations of informers. I am not convinced either of them were turned. I think they saw what was ahead.

    Times were changing, methods had become very sophisticated. I thought the writing was on the wall when the Harrods bombers turned up on tv.

  • Henry94


    Popular support and true democratic principles are not necessarily always the same thing

    Not necessarily and not always but the endorsement for the Agreement is so decisive, so overwhelming that it simply obliterates any justification for armed opposition from within nationalism.

    Maybe that’s why the dissidents have become so obsessed with Adams. If it’s all his fault they can avoid facing up to the unbending will of the people which is for the Agreement.

  • USA

    Maybe the businessmen he was meeting for lunch paid for the helicopter. We Yanks have “loads a money” after all.

  • Munsterview


    you are being selective in your commentary. Yes overall life did get better for most of the underclass in the Western World, if you measure affluence in terms of game-boys and widescreen digital etc. However if you look for an improvement in terms of moving away from real poverty, then the Glen/Mayfield in Cork, Myross in Limerick, parts of Ballymun in Dublin etc have remained untouched by the recent boom Decade. At least during this there was hope for change, that too is now gone.

    As to the North and build in structured imbalances, yes they are there and will remain for some time to come. Our A.N.C. Comrades who actually took over their country were faced with the very same problem and had us well warned of what to expect when attempting to dismantle our own apatite system in the North.

    When Mick Collins as head of the Provisional Government took over the Southern infrastructure, the scene is well documented in many books, the former Chief Secretary for Ireland had a final meeting with him where he introduced various Senior Civil Servants as, ‘This is your head of Finance, This is your head of Industry etc. Mick went off to fight a war while these people went back to their various Ministries that the day before had administered Ireland as just another Colonial outpost. How could these people with Whitehall mentalities ever appreciate what the new situation required having little, if any, respect for ‘Plowboy Ministers’

    Do you think that these particular Leopards changed their spots overnight or at all.?

    There is one very easy answer, many of my comrades from these days emerged from The Kesh and elsewhere with the education enhanced and with Degrees. They were influential in prison and out of it in pushing education. Look at their children and grandchildren and the standard of education and employment they now have. What way do they compare to the children and grandchildren of long term U.D.A. people, what difference did their ‘defense of ulster’ make for their families; in the main their extended families are even further down the poverty trap than they were before starting their activity.

    Most of us who had given our lifetimes to this did not change our ideas, we changed our methodologies in dealing with the situation that we found ourselves in. War is but politics carried on by another means, it can be effective and produce results, but once these results can be achieved by other means then the war machine, in terms of the energies and resources it ties up, becomes counter productive. These pragmatic dictates are apart from any moral considerations that may apply!

    Given what we have since learned since about the degree of Brit infiltration of the I.R.A., including it’s own internal security section and of Gerry’s inner circle with Donelson, it did not happen one day before time. Nor was it only in the North, I know one particular T.D. and he is continuing to associate with a particular individual who many of us believe has been compromised for decades. To act and admit this is to admit he has been duped for all this time, so image is all and this individual has the inside track with this particular T.D. How many more were/are there?

    I have said it before, real change will come in the outworking of the assembly. Both sides have different and irreconcilable agendas, Republicans/Nationalists want change and equality, the re-election prospects of most Loyalist Members is dependent on how well they can portray themselves as having resisted that necessary change.

    We need real politics for real change and we are a long way from that North and South of the border. For now there is no other way. If another way is necessary, then like us in 69/70 a new savvy, third level educated generation, well qualified in the electronic field will learn form the mistakes of my generation and rebuild from the ground up. That new M.I5 building is there for good reason , but to no avail, the new tactics will be as different to present Republican paramilitary activity as ours were from the 56 campaign.

    Canary Warf…. it moved and so did John Major! The spooks and their Masters have not forgotten, fear of more is what drives Whitehall accommodation of Republican concerns. If things return to those days they know they aint seen nothing yet if a new generation of militants gets going!

  • Munsterview

    I have some respect for ‘old style republicans’ but I have to question the motives of those who would educate and encourage our youth and then send them into the fray once more, and this at the same time as working tirelessly for abused children? What!

    Do the math, in fact it is not math it is nursery arithmetics.

    Where is the support base, where is the money to come from, and who are the parents expected to sacrifice their children to a cause that simply does not add up! There are no more Bobby Sands, and if there were I would hope you would be the first to tell him he is wrong. If it aint worth living for, it sure as hell aint worth dieing for, and they would let him die be sure of that, and this time, with suicide so common among terrorists, it would hardly raise an eyebrow.

    The brits dont care about a building, they sacrificed Coventry to save Enigma, a machine! People say it hurt them financially and it sounds good when you are losing and have nothing else to claim. It did not, they simply switched one machine off and another one on. We will win a united Ireland by persuasion, not coercion.

  • Michaelhenry

    how does that song go, those magnificent shinners in there flying machines……….

  • Catherine


    That is a very fine post and I don’t think we are that far apart on the topics of economics and progress, or lack thereof. As for the fears of Whitehall and the possibilty of future republican militants, I don’t agree with that at all. The whole Republican cause has been lost in its entirety, all that Republicans can hope for now is an opportunity to work within British and Irish institutions to address the issues of inequality etc.

    (I don’t think I was really being selective- more to do with the little spare time I have today.)


  • Munsterview

    I wish I had all your certainties, life would be so simple.

    The majority of Republicans, with grave misgivings, committed to a totally political process. What was the result over the past fifteen years ?

    Once the ceasefire was called every possible maneuver was followed to get Republics to break it while the Unionists leaders pored scorn on Republican intentions to delay the start of negotiations.

    Once negotiations started the same foot dragging and prevarication was shown from the Loyalist side right up to the closing stages of the Good Friday Agreement. It was never accepted, it was only tolerated because with the Brits standing behind one shoulder and the U.S. behind the other they had no choice.

    Republicans tried to use the assembly for change, the Loyalists used it with the intention to ditch it at the first opportunity and they did just that in so far as they could by having the agreement suspended.

    They were dragged back yet again kicking and screaming, we got Paisley and McGuiness but we also got the likes of Sammy Wilson who never passed up an opportunity to insult to frustrate Republicans on any issue that presented, even for innocuous things like an Irish Language program.

    Loyalists are now going into the next election and their electability is defendant on how much they were able to frustrate the workings of the Assembly to stop Nationalist generally never mind Republican objectives.

    The old Stormount had to be ditched because to the Nationalist North, to All Ireland, to Westminster, to Europe and to the World, it was seen for what he was, no different to the Old South Africa and with the same attitude towards Irish Natives as the latter had towards Black Africans. Not very suprising that our A.N.C. comrades could understand and appreciate our situation so well.

    In the past fifteen years every move that the Loyalists have made have given further credibility to Militant Republicans claims that politics in the North cannot evolve or be used to create a fair and balanced society and a United Ireland on a staged basis.

    Pip. do not confuse the message with the messenger! What I have said is that the Croppies Lie Down stage of Irish History is gone, The Croppies are On their feet and staying there. There is only so much messing around they will collectively take, old war reputations can only be stretched so far before this generation will say a plague on all old politics and tactics, Republican and Loyalist alike.

    Peace is about more than the absence of war, it was alway about peace with justice!. If there is no true equality there cannot be the foundations of building a Just Society. In these circumstances a new generation will consider all options to the failed politics of our generation and that must inevitably involve a Militant Option.

    I am not advocating this, what I am saying that if the circumstances are there the situation will happen. So far the workings and politics of the Assembly have done more to move towards this situation than to move away from it.

    This is a reality that some of us can see unfolding and it is not possible to fly away from it!

  • Munsterview


    looked bleak for the 67 men like my great grandfather and his generation too. Lost for our generation perhaps but not lost forever. Even History is on our side!

  • Munsterview

    Funny how people look at the same situation and see different things.

    Take the Assembly some would argue that David Trimble was driven out by the intractability of S/F and the duplicity of Tony Bliar. Some would argue the Irish language is used to rub the loyalists nose in it.

    We have to tread carefully and we have to be hypersensitive to the anxieties of others, and perhaps that is a good thing. It is long past time we saw both sides of the argument. Protestants are afraid (with reason if you look at some comments) their culture will be annihilated by a triumphant Ireland. Republicans are afraid we will step back in time and become second class citizens again. Neither is true. I do not believe we would treat Protestants badly and I do not believe the north will ever go back to those bad old days.

    The thing to do in this interim period, while everyone adjusts to the new reality, is protect our children and make sure they have all they need to meet as equals anyone on the world stage.
    Ireland has much to be proud of and much to offer the loyalists. I believe we would be far more tolerant of their little idiosyncrasies than ever the British would. I have great hope for the future and see no need or reason for further violence.

  • sdelaneys

    15.Maybe the businessmen he was meeting for lunch paid for the helicopter. We Yanks have “loads a money” after all. USA

    You could be close enough to the mark seeing as one of the business men was Ben Dunne who was kidnapped by the provos many years ago for ransom.

  • wee buns

    It is impossible not to be selective, when you read how diverse & fragmented these threads become.
    I voted for neither the recent Lisbon treaty or the GFA. Why? Because I read every word of each paper several times and disagreed fundamentaly with the contents. Contrary to state spin, that does not make me or anyone else who voted like me, anti-prosperity or anti-peace. Both elections were establishment manipulated to the extent that makes a mockery out of the idea of democracy or self determination.

  • british citizen

    “The old Stormount… …was, no different to the Old South Africa and with the same attitude towards Irish Natives as the latter had towards Black Africans.”

    Posted by Munsterview on Apr 01, 2010 @ 05:58 PM

    Slight exaggeration my friend!

  • Munsterview

    Glad that the facts are admitted and that it is only the degree on exaggeration that is in question! We can tease that aspect out.

    In late, addressed a cultural meeting where I said among other things that it is time we also began remembering British Army First W.W. Irish dead soldiers who fought believing that they were advancing Home Rule. Did not get any dissenting voice and some support, among those agreeing were some like myself who were also wearing Easter Lilies.

  • Munsterview

    Ireland had thousands fighting in the second world war too, they are all entitled to our thanks and our respect.

    I am glad we do not live in a world run by Nazis and I am glad many of our men fought alongside the Brits and Allies to prevent that.